Summary: Pre-series – Angsty Sam / Big Brother Dean – An awesome big brother with an equally awesome car. Yeah, no other kid's life compared to that. And Sam felt kinda sorry for them.

Disclaimer: Not mine

Warnings: Minor language

A/N: A story born of the E/O Challenge word-of-the-week (camp) and written in honor of summer being over and school being back in session.

You're luckier than you know. ~ Polaris

Out of all the days of school, Sam hated the first day the worst.

Not because of the normal reasons, but because he would often have to force a smile and fake interest in listening to the other kids' stories about their awesome summers – about cool trips, fun camps, amazing vacations...and the list went on.

"What did you do?" they would sometimes ask after they had finished their detailed descriptions and would blink at Sam expectantly when he hesitated to answer.

Sam would shrug. "Not much," he would respond and then would usually change the subject.

Because the other kids really didn't want to know how he had spent his summer...and Sam didn't want to tell them.

Because most 12-year old kids didn't spend their summers digging up graves and performing routine salt-and-burns; didn't do research on supernatural creatures trying to figure out how to kill them; didn't learn complicated rituals and perfect ancient Latin exorcisms; didn't practice their aim with various weapons; didn't eat almost every meal at a crappy diner and sleep almost every night in an even crappier motel...or in the backseat of their family's car if money was tight.

It was a harsh reality – made harsher by the daily reminders received at school – that most kids' lives didn't suck as much as Sam's.

But that was just how it was; how it had always been since Sam had been old enough to realize there was a difference; that not everybody lived like hunters.

Lucky them.

Sam snorted softly – because most kids had no idea how fortunate they were – and sighed as he crossed through the cafeteria; sitting down by himself at one of the tables in the far corner and hoping no one would join him for lunch; eager for at least a momentary break from being happy for other people.

Because his face hurt from maintaining a smile...and his chest ached from having to listen about things he would likely never experience.

Sam sighed again – hating when he felt sorry for himself...and hating that he felt like crying because of it – and then vaguely wondered what Dean was doing.

Probably something a whole lot more fun than him...

Sam quirked a smile at the thought of how much trouble Dean had most likely already gotten into on his first day at the high school across town; surprised by how much he missed seeing his brother during the day and by how eager he was for Dean to pick him up after school.

Sam's smile lingered as he reached for the crinkled brown paper bag he had set on the table; remembering how Dean had announced earlier that morning that he had made lunch for him.

"Why?" Sam had asked suspiciously as he had cautiously accepted the bag; not in the mood to endure one of Dean's pranks on the first day of school; a day he was already dreading.

"Because I'm awesome," Dean had replied simply and then had smacked Sam's hand when the kid had tried to look inside the bag.

Sam had scowled in response.

"No peeking," Dean had warned.

Sam had narrowed his eyes; his suspicions instantly reignited. "Why?"

"Because we're late," Dean had pointed out reasonably and had grabbed Sam's backpack before opening the motel room door and motioning for his brother.

Sam had hesitated as he had stood between their beds.

"Dude. Let's go. Move your ass..." Dean had urged impatiently and then had softened at the expression on Sam's face; knowing how much his brother hated the first day of school. "Sammy. Relax," he had soothed. "It's gonna be fine."

Sam had nodded. "I know," he had reluctantly agreed and then had sighed before crossing the motel room; smiling up at Dean when his brother had squeezed his shoulder once he was close enough to touch; encouragement and comfort in one gesture.

There had been a beat of silence.

Sam had glanced at the paper bag still in his hand. "This isn't..." he had paused; not sure what to ask because he wasn't sure what Dean could have put in there.

Dean had chuckled as he had given another squeeze to Sam's shoulder and then had handed the kid his backpack before closing the motel room door behind them. "It's food," he had responded dryly. "Because you're picky and scrawny and god knows you don't need to skip lunch just because you don't like what they're serving at school."

Sam had rolled his eyes as they had crossed to the Impala. "I'm not that picky."

"...says the kid who inspects everything he eats," Dean had added, sliding behind the steering wheel.

Sam had shrugged – unable to argue against that fact – and had settled himself in the passenger seat as Dean had cranked the Impala and had eased the Chevy out of the motel parking lot.

Dean had then proceeded to sing along with some Zeppelin song blaring from one of his cassettes, but Sam had felt his brother's almost constant glances from across the bench seat; Dean checking on him as he had stared out the windshield in silence while his anxiety had increased with each mile.

"It's gonna be fine," Dean had commented casually as they had rode and then had repeated the same reminder when they had arrived at the middle school.

Sam had nodded but had made no move to get out of the car.

Dean had smiled; amused by Sam's stalling. "You can't sit here all day, Sammy..."

"I know," Sam had returned and had swallowed against his fluttering nerves as he had finally opened the passenger side door and had climbed out of the car, reaching for his backpack in the floorboard. "See you later."

"Bet your ass you will," Dean had agreed heartily and then had handed the paper bag still lying on the seat to his brother. "Don't forget your lunch."

Sam had nodded and had accepted the bag for the second time that morning before bravely walking away from Dean...and into the frightening world of middle school.

...which was no joke.

It had been one hell of a morning.

But at least he had survived to see whatever Dean had put in his lunch.

"This should be interesting..." Sam commented to himself and cautiously reached into the paper bag; pausing when he felt a folded note resting patiently on top of the wrapped sandwich inside.

Sam tilted his head in curiosity and promptly pulled out the note; now understanding why Dean had not wanted him to look inside the bag that morning.

Sam smiled at the surprise and opened the note; his smile widening – dimples and all – when he read the message his brother had quickly scrawled across the motel's cheap stationery...probably while Sam had showered that morning.


Hope your first day kicks ass.

If you need me, call me. I can be there in less than 5.

See you after school, bitch.

Your hot, awesome, badass brother –

Dean "Batman" Winchester

Sam laughed at Dean's attempt to draw Batman beside his signature and then read the note again; instantly feeling loved and protected – even though Dean was several miles away at another school – and instantly reminded of how incredibly thankful he was for the life he had...simply because it had Dean in it.

No other kid's life could compare to that.

Sam nodded in agreement with himself and then smiled again as he read the note once more before folding it and tucking it into the pocket of his jeans; knowing it was ridiculous how comforted he suddenly felt...but he did.

"Thanks, Dean..." Sam murmured genuinely; knowing his brother wouldn't ask about the note later and wouldn't want Sam to mention it, either.

But Sam also knew that Dean had known exactly what he was doing when he had packed Sam's lunch that morning; had known how stressed Sam would feel by lunchtime and had planted a note that was both funny and serious – much like Dean himself – that would soothe his little brother's frazzled nerves.

...which just further proved that Dean was one of the best big brothers in the history of the world.

Sam grinned at the thought – feeling a fresh burst of love and protection – and then frowned as he pulled his sandwich from the bag.

"Dean..." Sam sighed and shook his head. "Always with the crusts..." he grumbled good-naturedly and began pulling off the darkened edges of the bread on his PB&J.

Twenty minutes later, Sam was back in class; reenergized by the food – especially Dean's shared stash of peanut M&Ms – and recharged by his brother's words; feeling the folded note in his pocket as he slid into his desk.

Sam glanced at the clock; hoping the rest of the day passed quickly – because he was ready to see his brother – and then smiling slightly at the thought of how cool it was going to be when Dean picked him up after school in the Impala.

Because an awesome big brother with a badass car...

Yeah, no other kid's life compared to that.

And Sam felt kinda sorry for them.